From the outside, New York-based Ascend Wellness’ new recreational cannabis dispensary could easily be mistaken for its previous use — a restaurant.
Inside the 6,228-square-foot building, a former Outback Steakhouse that’s in the final stages of a renovation valued at about $1.2 million, the vibe is more in line with that of a tech store.
In a way, that’s the point.
“When you go into our Collinsville location, it feels like an experience that you would have in any other business when you’re going to purchase a product,” said Kathleen Olivastro, Ascend’s Illinois regional director. “And that’s our goal, not only to help normalize what cannabis is, but it’s also to create an amazing experience for our customers and our associates.”
The dispensary — located at 3201 Horizon Drive with visibility from…